shutterstock_169002578 Much of medicine is no harder than Mom, a Band-Aid and a scrapped knee. Flu shots save lives, give flu shots. Bleeding causes anemia, give iron or, if severe, blood. There is a fracture, fix it. A boil hurts, lance it.  This is not rocket science. Perhaps medicine is so simple that it can be automated. Instead of a doctor at all, ...

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While I consider myself to be an ethical practitioner, I am not perfect, and neither is the medical profession. I will present a recurrent ethical dilemma to my fair and balanced readers and await their judgment. Our gastroenterology practice, like all of our competitors, has an open access endoscopy option. This permits a physician to refer a patient to us for a colonoscopy, without the need for an initial office visit. Patients ...

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shutterstock_137498780 One of my favorite physician sayings is, "Don’t just do something, stand there!" Which means that it’s better to do nothing than to do something that doesn’t help. As I move through my career, I find myself agreeing. I am endlessly amazed at the number of things we do for no good reason, and that patients come to expect, also for ...

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shutterstock_220684471 When you send your kid to dance class, it's reasonable to think that not only are they learning how to dance, but that they are getting exercise. Most parents think that way; dance class certainly gets mentioned when I ask parents in my practice what their children do for exercise. Not so much, says a study just published in the ...

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shutterstock_105328079 No one wants to hear that they have a disease. And yet everyone will develop some degree of degenerative disc disease (DDD) -- or degenerative spine disease -- over the course of a lifetime. DDD refers to a combination of age-related and wear-and-tear-related changes that occur within the spine over time. It is very common and a natural part of aging. Most ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 53-year-old woman is evaluated for a 3-month history of swelling of the face, hands, and feet. She has untreated hepatitis C virus infection. She takes lithium for bipolar disorder. She has no additional symptoms. On physical examination, temperature is normal, blood pressure is 134/93 mm Hg, pulse rate is 71/min, and respiration ...

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shutterstock_250129084 As adolescent medicine physicians based in the Bronx, which has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, we frequently see how young patients become pregnant before they are ready to be parents. While U.S. pregnancy rates among girls aged 15 to 19 years have been declining over the past two decades, still nearly 600,000 girls younger than 20 years ...

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Draping a shroud of 30's Depression on any dust bowl child can thicken the skin, so my 88-year-old patient learned to be fiercely independent with a “talk to the hand” attitude, and “don’t get in my way” personality.  Even after her husband passed away, she remained autonomous traveling and golfing in her social circuit. Living life as a smoker was always a threat to her health, and this year became a ...

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shutterstock_195635468 I was driving to work the other day, and there was a story on the radio about the Congressional reaction to the latest recommendations for breast cancer screening from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Here’s the background. USPSTF published recommendations in late 2009 for the use of screening mammography in different age groups. For women between 40 and ...

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A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics is a rare beacon of coherent thought about lice and children. Rather than humiliating children and driving them away like lepers, the AAP recommends common-sense steps to identify and treat lice. Some facts really shouldn’t be in dispute:

  • Lice is not a serious illness or a significant hazard to health. They don’t make anyone sick, and they do not spread any ...

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